Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This is why you don’t mess with British MPs 

Today Senator Coleman learned the hard way why U.S. politicians shouldn’t get into debates with British Mps –especially ones like George Galloway who don’t suffer fools gladly. U.S. politicians, who are in big trouble anytime their teleprompter breaks down, are hardly going to measure up against people who have to go through the daily debates of the British Parliament.

Given the mismatch in debating skills one would think the Yanks would at least have their ducks lined up. Alas, not in this case. Quite frankly this smackdown was so thorough, so complete, so well deserved, and , yes, so entertaining that C-span should set up a pay per view channel so we can watch it again – I would certainly pay. The full transcript of Galloway’s remarks can, and really, really should be read here .

Here though are a few tidbits:

Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Now you say in this document, you quote a source, you have the gall to quote a source, without ever having asked me whether the allegation from the source is true, that I am 'the owner of a company which has made substantial profits from trading in Iraqi oil'.

Senator, I do not own any companies, beyond a small company whose entire purpose, whose sole purpose, is to receive the income from my journalistic earnings from my employer, Associated Newspapers, in London. I do not own a company that's been trading in Iraqi oil. And you have no business to carry a quotation, utterly unsubstantiated and false, implying otherwise.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

I can’t wait to watch the next round – provided Senator Coleman ever gets up off the canvas. And I suspect next time instead of watching the good fun on C-span I’ll have to call my local cable provider and get HBO Pay Per View.


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